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Drinking three cups of tea ...

Posted Feb 13 2013 7:47am


Drinking three cups of tea a day can keep you mentally alert in old age

Cripes!  Britain  must  be full of alert oldies!  Just more correlational nonsense below

It's the national drink that millions of us turn to when we need a pick-me-up.  But tea does far more than just help to wake us up. Scientists say the traditional cuppa can keep the mind sharp into old age.

And the benefits of drinking as little as one to three cups a day in staving off mental decline are especially pronounced among women.

In one study, of almost 1,500 men and women in Singapore, drinking more than four cups a day cut the odds of memory failing by three-quarters.

Even just one to three cups of Ceylon tea a day had an effect, cutting the odds of cognitive decline by 43 per cent.

It is thought compounds in tea may protect against the poisons that ravage the brain in Alzheimer’s.

Possibilities include theanine, a plant chemical found only in tea and in mushrooms.

Experts in the US analysed several studies on the effect of caffeinated drinks on memory and mental alertness. The thousands of men and women who took part logged how often they drank tea or coffee and did a memory test that is used in the initial stages of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease.

Up to ten years later, they resat the test and any fall in score was noted.

The brain stayed sharper in those who drank tea in all the studies that included the drink, the journal Advances in Nutrition reports.

A study which tracked 4,000 Americans for almost eight years suggested tea to be of particular benefit to women.

The University of California researchers who reviewed the studies said the weaker results for coffee mean caffeine is unlikely to be responsible for the cognitive benefits.

Britons drink 165 million cups of tea every day  – making it more than twice as popular as coffee.

Jessica Smith of the Alzheimer’s Society said: ‘There is building evidence linking a cuppa and a reduction in cognitive decline.

‘However, we are a long way from being able to say for sure a regular brew will reduce your risk of developing dementia.

‘The best way to reduce your risk is to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and not smoke.’

SOURCE





Peer Review failure: Science and Nature journals reject papers because they “have to be wrong”

Mouse studies discredited

The peer review system has decayed to the point where the culture of the two “top” science journals virtually  guarantees they will reject the most important research done today. It is the exact opposite of what we need to further human knowledge the fastest. Science and Nature are prestigious journals, yet they are now so conservative about ideas that challenge dominant assumptions, that they reject ground-breaking papers because those papers challenge the dominant meme, not because the evidence or the reasoning is suspect or weak.

Watts Up drew my attention to an extraordinary paper showing that billions of dollars of medical research may have been wasted because researchers assumed mice were the same as men. Dr Ronald W. Davis from Stanford comments: ““They are so ingrained in trying to cure mice that they forget we are trying to cure humans.” He found that 150 drugs were tested that in hindsight, were guaranteed to fail in humans.

People didn’t understand that mice have a very different response to sepsis (which is any overwhelming blood-borne bacterial infection). Sepsis kills around 200,000 people in the US each year and costs an estimated $17 billion a year. Mice are already resistant to huge numbers of bacteria in their blood whereas humans overreact, our capillaries leak, our organs run short of blood, mass organ failure ensues, and we can die. While mice may have an answer to deadly sepsis (how do they resist it?) we weren’t looking for that in our experiments, we were testing drugs on mice that were never going to help us. Now we understand why.

The editors must be kicking themselves now. But what a classic case study of the way the peer-review-establishment responds to a contentious idea. Here was information that could potentially save lives that was dismissed and delayed for the most unscientific of reasons.

     "The study’s investigators tried for more than a year to publish their paper, which showed that there was no relationship between the genetic responses of mice and those of humans. They submitted it to the publications Science and Nature, hoping to reach a wide audience. It was rejected from both."

The data was described as persuasive, robust, and stunning. Yet both prestigious journals tossed the drafts out. The best excuse they can give is that they reject lots of papers. Oh, well that’s ok then…

    "Science and Nature said it was their policy not to comment on the fate of a rejected paper, or whether it had even been submitted to them. But, Ginger Pinholster of Science said, the journal accepts only about 7 percent of the nearly 13,000 papers submitted each year, so it is not uncommon for a paper to make the rounds."

    Still, Dr. Davis said, reviewers did not point out scientific errors. Instead, he said, “the most common response was, ‘It has to be wrong. I don’t know why it is wrong, but it has to be wrong.’ ”

If you do revolutionary work, send it somewhere else

My advice to scientists with groundbreaking results is not to even submit papers to Nature or Science any more. If the information you have is important and will ruffle feathers (and what groundbreaking research doesn’t?) why delay it? There are plenty of alternatives
    "The investigators turned to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. As a member of the academy, Dr. Davis could suggest reviewers for his paper, and he proposed researchers who he thought would give the work a fair hearing. “If they don’t like it, I want to know why,” he said. They recommended publication, and the editorial board of the journal, which independently assesses papers, agreed."

The clues were there all along — mice often live in filthy conditions and eat food that would make us sick
    "Yet there was always one major clue that mice might not really mimic humans in this regard: it is very hard to kill a mouse with a bacterial infection. Mice need a million times more bacteria in their blood than what would kill a person."

    “Mice can eat garbage and food that is lying around and is rotten,” Dr. Davis said. “Humans can’t do that. We are too sensitive.”

If researchers had questioned their assumptions twenty years ago, how many lives might have been saved? Perhaps it would only have made a few years difference — because genetic techniques were used (and they were so basic 20 years ago) and the study took ten years in any case. But for twenty years money and brain-power were used to study drugs that were never going to work. Imagine what else we could have learnt?

It’s a reminder that the wrong assumptions can kill despite years of hard work, good intentions and honest research. What is science if is not constantly testing the base assumptions? It’s a faith-based-project.

Anyone who claims peer-reviewed research is rigorous has some kind of delusional faith that humans aren’t human.

SOURCE
Genomic responses in mouse models poorly mimic human inflammatory diseases

By  Junhee Seok et al.

Abstract

A cornerstone of modern biomedical research is the use of mouse models to explore basic pathophysiological mechanisms, evaluate new therapeutic approaches, and make go or no-go decisions to carry new drug candidates forward into clinical trials. Systematic studies evaluating how well murine models mimic human inflammatory diseases are nonexistent. Here, we show that, although acute inflammatory stresses from different etiologies result in highly similar genomic responses in humans, the responses in corresponding mouse models correlate poorly with the human conditions and also, one another. Among genes changed significantly in humans, the murine orthologs are close to random in matching their human counterparts (e.g., R2 between 0.0 and 0.1). In addition to improvements in the current animal model systems, our study supports higher priority for translational medical research to focus on the more complex human conditions rather than relying on mouse models to study human inflammatory diseases.

SOURCE




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